Archive for August 31, 2009

OpenOffice Writer Review – Best Free Microsoft Word Alternative

Our recently posted a detailed review on why OpenOffice is slow? while loading. In this post, we review OpenOffice Writer and explore why it can be used as an alternative to Microsoft Word.

 

OpenOffice Writer is one of the best Open Source Word processors available today. It is a fine replacement for Microsoft Word, equally competitive with most of the Word Processor features that are needed for an enterprise.typing The only nit-picking you could do is grumble about rather slow responsive behavior of the OpenOffice Office Suit. That is, a slight slower performance when compared to Microsoft office applications. but, it is really not a big deal considering that it is absolutely free even for commercial use. No need to burn your pocket on an office suit like you would do with Microsoft office! Yeah, you can be a little generous and very well donate some money to OpenOffice for their efforts though!

So, enough about praising OpenOffice Writer! What does it offer? Plenty lot of features!

Advantages of OpenOffice Writer

  • Supports Writing, Editing and Reviewing Documents – including spell checking, revision tracking, finding and replacing text, Adding comments and more.
  • Supports Auto correction while typing, Auto completion of words.
  • Advanced Page layout settings – including numerous page styles, themes, columns, tables, frames, fonts etc.
  • Supports templates ,styles and Macros.
  • Supports using Fields, Tables of Contents, Indexes, and Bibliographies.
  • Support for large documents: including master documents, chapters, footnotes and endnotes.
  • Support for Microsoft Office document formats (DOCX file format is not yet supported but soon will :) )
  • Support for graphics, placing or manipulating graphics and much more.
  • Supports many software extensions like enhanced dictionaries, grammar checks etc which can be downloaded free of cost from OpenOffice website.
  • Wizards to simplify letters, faxes, agendas, minutes, or carrying out more complex tasks such as mail merges.
  • and best of all, it is Free (commercial or non commercial use)!

As you can see, OpenOffice Writer is quite a handful with fine features. Below is a screenshot showing a word document in Writer, with highlighted text, comments, changes being tracked etc. These are most useful when you are reviewing a document with peers. People can highlight a piece of text or add a comment on their views etc. Author can even opt for a tracking changes so that OpenOffice Writer does the dirty job of tracking changes made by all reviewers etc. Everything you would want from a Word processor is supported!

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Microsoft Word like toolbars with lots of functionalities…

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Lot of backgrounds

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Microsoft Word like Graphical Fonts!

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Lots of Autoshapes.

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So many goodies that OpenOffice Writer offers can not be documented here. However, no software is perfect. OpenOffice Writer too has its share of Downers.

Disadvantages of OpenOffice Writer

  • There are still compatibility issues with Microsoft Word. OpenOffice Writer has improved a lot since its early versions but still there are glitches while you import documents from Microsoft Word and vice versa. OpenOffice Writer may be challenging for those who frequently have to work with Microsoft Word users due to compatibility issues.
  • OpenOffice Writer is responsive and agile but not as responsive as Microsoft Word.
  • OpenOffice Writer is more memory intensive than Microsoft Word.

Checkout OpenOffice Writer here.

Top Free Desktop Publishing alternatives to Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign

Desktop Publishing (DTP) software tools help Publishers create the prototype of the printable media that later can be printed using a high resolution printer. This is a very important software and all publishers love using such tools. Back in the mid 1980’s Aldus Corporation had a dominant DTP Software, PageMaker. Desktop PublishingPageMaker was ruling the DTP market until mid 1990’s and slowly gave its market share to QuarkXPress (Which still exists today and popular). Adobe bought Aldus in 1994 and now PageMaker is no more actively developed. instead, Adobe now has Adobe InDesign and is competing against QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher. However, with Open Source gaining strong traction, there is a very functional and a right alternative to these proprietary DTP Software like Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher and QuarkXPress.

Scribus is the Open Source answer!

Scribus is an open-source program that brings a professional Page Layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of “press-ready” output and new approaches to page layout. Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation and a user friendly Interface.

The file format of Scribus is SLA and is based on XML. Text can be imported from OpenDocument text documents, as well as OpenOffice.org Writer, Microsoft Word and HTML formats with exceptions.

Unfortunately, Scribus can not open or import proprietary file formats of InDesign or MS Publisher or QuarkXPress due to legal obligation.

However, Scribus supports mostly all serious features that one expect from a DTP software and a good free alternative to commercial DTP tools.

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Download Scribus here.

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Looking For Job? Receive Job Alerts While You Stay Anonymous

HireFlyer.com is unique online job distribution site that uses the Web 2.0 technology in delivering jobs to passive and active job seekers in real time via email, text message and Facebook notifications.

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What is different in HireFlyer.com is that job seekers are guaranteed to remain completely anonymous because HireFlyer does not collect any personal identifying data or require a user to upload, build or store a resume on the site. Instead, seekers create what is called a Job Search Agents that will help them receive notifications only when a job matching their profile is posted. This process eliminates unwanted solicitations and provides the seeker with only relevant job postings.

As a job poster one can post job openings quickly with minimal effort. Once you click “submit”, the job is positioned on the HireFlyer.com job posting website and then it’s delivered, via email and or text messaging, to active and passive job seekers whose profiles match the job.

HireFlyer.com is the top job search website solution providing employers with an affordable, easy to use and effective job posting site. It offers job seekers a discreet, easy to use service for free. HireFlyer.com is the best job posting website for savvy employers who want a competitive advantage over other job posting websites. Read more here

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Have You Been Laid Off? Here Is How To Get Hired

Though there are many sites for job seekers, most of them are focused on openings instead of the candidate. In the Web 2.0 era, finally there are some nice online serves that focuses more on the candidate rather than the openings.

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Jobfox is one such online service where you must have your resume if you are seeking for a new job or it could be your first job.

Jobfox is one of the best online services available for job seekers and it’s focused on candidates instead of openings. Employees and job seekers post their resumes and obtain their own free page with a unique URL. They an create their own branding and answer in-depth questions that are traditionally asked during interviews. This provides employers with more information and they rely on Jobfox to match candidates.

Jobfox, don’t just give you a list of jobs and leave the rest up to you. It provides more features what a traditional job site does not provide. See the comparison here:

  Jobfox Traditional Job Sites
A list of jobs   X   X
+ Mutual Suitability SystemTM   X  
+ Rated on a 5 star suitability scale   X  
Apply for jobs   X   X
+ Intros to decision makers   X  
Jobfox Career Web Page   X  

The Jobfox Mutual Suitability System – More than a list of jobs
uses an in-depth question and answer format to learn about your experience, wants and needs. This allows understanding much more than what your resume could tell. It then presents you with only the opportunities (rated on a 5-star scale) that matchs what. As the employers using Jobfox also participate in this same process, you can be assured that they know you are well qualified for their position.

The Jobfox Intro – Beyond applying for a job
Using our Jobfox Advantage premium service, you can go above and beyond a job application. For jobs you like, Jobfox will contact employers on your behalf and present you directly. That’s the Jobfox Intro!

The Jobfox Career Webpage – Your online professional brand
When you create a suitability profile with Jobfox, you also get the benefit of a personal career focused web page. Using the information from your profile, Jobfox will create a page that provides insight to who you are and what you’ve done. With a quick glance, employers can evaluate your experience, skills, work style, samples and more. You’ll get a personalized web address (URL) to send to potential employers or whoever you’d like to know the professional you. It’s a great resource for building your personal brand. Read more here and get started.

Read more here.

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An Explanation On Why OpenOffice Is Slow While Loading?

OpenOffice is a Free and Open Source Office Application Suit and a most notable open source alternative to Microsoft Office. Many enterprise as well as home users have started using OpenOffice and the version 3.0 is better than ever. However, one thing that bothers people in OpenOffice is the slower load time. Even though it is packed with features, people tend to complain this slower startup. Good news is, QuickStart makes it load faster and here is why.

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Performance Bottleneck in OpenOffice 3.1

OpenOffice has been around for a quite sometime (close to 20 years) and a lot of code base (old and new) may invoke numerous libraries. A OpenOffice wiki claims that OpenOffice processes too much of code while loading and there may be too many libraries that are getting loaded. A combination of Microsoft VisualStudio Debugger and SysInternals (now Microsoft Company) ProcessMonitor, tools give you this amazing insight. These tools can unearth a lot of inside details that are closely related to underlying Operation System.

  • During Cold Startup of OpenOffice 3.1, more than 80% of the load time goes in File I/O operations making it a slow starter.
  • But, During Warm Startup of OpenOffice 3.1, only about 20% of the load time goes in File I/O operations making it mostly CPU bound. Also, the load time is drastically reduced.
  • When Antivirus Real-time Protection is enabled, the load time still increases.

Here is a very nice CPU usage, File I/O operations, Network Operations, memory Operations etc versus Time Graph that gives a very detailed view of what’s happening during load time. These tests are done on Pentium M 1.8GHz with 1GB RAM, Win XP SP3 on Toshiba Laptop with Norton AV. So, test results are subjective.

Cold Startup of OpenOffice 3.1

Antivirus real time protection has a significant impact on Cold Start. Please note the numerous File I/O spikes throughout load time time line.

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OpenOffice.org_DEV300m40_System_Activities

Warm Startup of OpenOffice 3.1

Antivirus real time protection has a minimal impact on Warm Start. A quicker load time, thanks to less File I/O operations.

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OpenOffice.org_DEV300m40_System_Activities_WarmStartup

The issue of slow Cold Startup has been an issue with OpenOffice and Here is a history of Load Time of OpenOffice right from version1.1.5 till release 3.0 (Courtesy OOONinja). Load time has been increasing steadily but at the same time, we should note that OpenOffice gets many additional features and may contribute to more heavy startup time.

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Whatever may be the Load Time, We still love OpenOffice :) Do You? Please watch out for more OpenOffice related articles only on Open-Tube.

Source: OpenOffice Wiki

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